The Importance of Ambidextrous Rope Dart Practice
Are you trying to escape challenging your “weak” side with the rope dart? I see almost completely across the board, rope dartists accepting that they only have one designated anchor hand and one designated lead hand, becoming one sided and limiting their full rope dart mastery. Let the following be encouragement as to why you should practice switching hands in your rope dart practice. Ambidextrous Rope Dart explained.
First, know that your “weak” hand is not as weak as you think it is; it’s mostly in your head that you have a stronger side which is made manifest by never truly opening up to becoming ambidextrous. I think a lot of people choose a single prop like rope dart or single staff so that they can avoid challenging their non dominant hand. Let me assure you that switching hands is easier than you think. Your decisive mind is over challenging you, and when the resistance to switching hands opens up, you’ll see a lot of benefits come through including your capacity to learn more tricks and techniques, more quickly.
Back to the basics!
I suggest going back through everything you know about the rope dart, one thing at at time, focusing on posture, breathing and the sensation of the motions. After just a minute or two of doing what you’re used to, immediately switch hands and do the same thing, but mirrored. Tell you mind that’s it’s not actually any more difficult, relax your resistant thoughts and practice for another one to a few minutes. Switch back again to the more practiced side, another 1-2 minutes then switch back again.
As long as you did your best to breathe, focus and flow, I am sure you will surprise yourself as to how quickly your non dominant hand picked up the reflective muscle memory. Continue this same practice but with another technique or trick until you feel like your mind is full of new information, rest on it, then see how much has grown and settled in overnight. Repeating this practice for a few weeks will amplify your confidence in not only being able to do everything you know with both hands, but also will increase your confidence to learn new tricks altogether. Even new props that require both hands (poi or double hoops for the win!).
Practicing both hands evenly will benefit not only your personal practice, but also your performing. I use a fire dart with a Kevlar tether that builds up much more friction and heat in my hands than my day dart. So, while burning, if ever I feel like I’ve maxed out one lead hand, I am plenty confident to switch hands and continue the show, pain free.
No matter what your prop, incorporating ambidexterity practice is necessary for full mastery. Practice even when you are not flowing by using your toothbrush with your opposite hand for instance. Eat with a fork or spoon with your non dominant hand. And if you have the time sitting at a desk, write out your abc’s in a straight line and then mirror them slowly with the other hand while you breath (relaxing the mind). Do this three times in the same sitting and watch the progression shift rather rapidly. I find for most experienced flow artists, just like riding a bike, you will never lose this new muscle memory! So it’s well worth the investment.
Need a second eye, spotter and/or instructor? Let me know! I am at your service.
Need a rope dart? Check out the selection in the Sacred Flow Art shop [hyperlink]!
Big shout out this week to Sean Robert Connell who came through for us big by not only becoming a patron, but also donating a chunk of change towards our fixing the Yoda Home camper and getting back on the road! Thank you Sean and the rest of you flowmies who pitched in! Every little bit has really helped out, especially with our first child on the way soon! Stay in tune!
Yours in flow,